Interest in horses has increased lately in Whitehall as well, as in other parts of the country. An interesting TV program that has attracted many is called The American Horse and Horseman and appeals to the owners of Whitehall’s quarter horse, standard breed Morgan and App but in Whitehall 100 years ago the Morgan breed held the
leadership. These horses seemed to be owned by Whitehall’s business men. On the Bascom farm one mile south of the village was kept a famous horse Ethan Allen Jr., owned by S.B. Woodard. This horse and his line furnished many of the horses in this area.
His genealogy started with Justin Morgan, that tough versatile animal brought to Randolph., Vt., in 1795 from Springfield, Mass. an “unbroken two year old runt.’’ From
him in line was Sherman bred in Lyndon. Vt., and noted for his endurance and docility; Black Hawk. Sherman’s greatest son born in Essex county; Ethan Allen born in 1849 in Ticonderoga to become the fastest trotter in the world and from whom every Morgan living today can be traced (his mother was owned by F. A. Leland, an itinerant peddler through Hague, Schroon Lake and Whitehall); and Ethan Allen Jr. whom W. H. Cook of Ticonderoga raised.
Mr. Bascom in 1874 was raising at least seven colts. All sired by Ethan Allen. Jr. Across the road was George H. Buel brother of Julio Buel of fishing tackle fame and
noted in his own right as a good farmer. He was one of the sheep raisers of the town. He was keeping horses owned by W. F. Bascom, an Insurance man in the village and some of his own.
H. C. Hall in the Manville Scribner & Co. lumber business owned a driving horse of the Lambert line. He is noted in the directory as a “Horseman”.
E. W. Hall owned a sorrel horse, a trotter “Mystery”, a matched pair of family horses, and a tandem team of the Ethan Allen stock. He was a slate manufacturer, a drug
store owner and owner of the Hall Mansion on West Mountain. George A. Hall a hardware merchant owned a matched sorrel team with white faces
and white legs of the Black Hawk stock.
The Honorable F. E. Davis, a dealer in all kinds of lumber, had a span of matched horses, very fast travelers.A. Martin, a village trustee and dealer in lumber in the steam mill on the east side of the lake, owned a span of English draft horses.
N. Collins, a milkman and farmer, had a well matched roan team.
Joseph Arquette, who owned a meat market, drove a fast trotter while John Brett, a feed store proprietor, had two trotters of the Black Hawk line. Supervisor George Brett and B. H. Baldwin drove trotters.
William Pardo, a barber, had a gelding of the Columbus stock. The farmers Francis Fish, Warren McFarren, Frank Douglass, George and Frank Bartholomew owned fine
colts of the Ethan Allen stock.
Hannibal Allen, town clerk and owner of a hardware store, went to the Hambleton man blood which was an out breeding of the Morgan Line not now allowed. David
Bartholomew of the Yule Hotel owned one of this line. George Griswold in the tin ware business and H. G. Burleigh of the transportation line had trotters of the Lambert stock.
Dr. Holcomb’s horse was not listed as to line but he always had a good horse to be able to attend to the sick at a distance Whitehall does not have any monuments to horses as does Crown Point. A 12 foot statue in the village square as erected to honor Pink, Col. John Hammond’s horse which was in 88 skirmishes and 34 battles of the Civil War. He descended from the Black Hawk line. Another statue is at Penfield Museum for Billy, wounded at Gettysburg and owned by Col. James A. Penfield. He was a grandson of Black Hawk.
An interesting item for horse lovers, or not, is that Ethan Allen was taken by his later owner to Rhode Island and from there to a western ranch where he made a contribution to the quarter horse breed. The American saddle horse is also indebted to the Morgan as is the Walking Horse.
Early newspaper items tell of the trotting races on the ice, road racing and ownership of fine horse flesh in Whitehall. Mr. Wilkins said ‘Our town is famous for its
handsome ladies, its fine looking, genial, gallant men and for its gallant stock particularly that noble animal, the horse.”
Doris B. Morton, Town Historian – The Whitehall Times – December 26, 1974